James T. Putin

There were so many disasters during the Obama administration it became a favorite topic of speculation whether they were caused by malice or incompetence. Recent events favor incompetence.  This does not mean malice was absent only that its effects were dominated by stupidity.  The malice or virtue of morons doesn't really matter in effect. To paraphrase Deng Xiaoping 'it doesn't matter if the cat is black or white if either way it can't catch mice'.

The reason choosing Corbyn or Sanders doesn't solve the Left's crisis is they only repeat the same mistakes sincerely. Progressives do not have the monopoly of systematic error.  It's a feature of all dogmatic systems, of every movement ruled by groupthink. Any sufficiently fanatical movement will moronize itself.  The ongoing Islamic civil war is a sad example of people literally killing each other because that's what the signal tells them to do.

Imitative thinking afflicts its adherents as Naseem Taleb points out, with a special sort of stupidity one actually has to learn: the art of "how not to find the coconut on Coconut Island".  It disables common sense; must disable it so the group signal will dominate.

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligentsia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them ... The Intellectual Yet Idiot.

But groupthink has advantages.  For one it allows organizations to implement swarming tactics. People are attracted to such organizations because in exchange for submission it offers apparent power.  It is no coincidence that Hillary's slogan of "stronger together" sounds like the "democratic centralism" of Lenin's day.  It's essentially the same thing. Submit to the group and you will be part of an irresistible movement. Alone you are weak but as part of a swarm directed by a single mind you can overcome anything.

It has weaknesses too.  The problem with swarms is their collective fate is tied to the network. Once the network is disrupted, hacked or collapses the whole swarm will fall apart or worse, commit collective suicide.   The fate of the swarm is reliant on the signal which binds it.